By Alena Mae S. Flores | Manila Standard
Power retailer Manila Electric Co. is set to issue the guidelines for the competitive selection process for 2,000 megawatts of power requirements by the end of this month as mandated by the Supreme Court, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Thursday.
“I had a meeting with Meralco and we prepared the timeframe and the roadmap that there is an urgency to do a CSP on the two power plants—Atimonan and Redondo, I think. That has to be subjected to CSP already,” Cusi said.
“We are going to already subject to CSP around 2,000 megawatts by the end of this month,” he said.
Meralco earlier signed power supply agreements with seven generators in April 2016 to secure 3,551 MW of capacity needed in its franchise area, which was the subject of the Supreme Court case.
The SC ruled that all PSAs submitted by distribution utilities to ERC on or after June 30, 2015 including those of Meralco should undergo CSP, a form of competitive public bidding for the purchase of electricity by DUs.
Cusi said Meralco should conduct the CSP to ensure that is an adequate power supply to meet the country’s economic growth.
“We need that for our capacity building. That’s what we are doing. We are giving priority now to capacity building…With the improving economy, the growing economy, the demand for electricity is growing. People are consuming more because they want a better life,” he said.
He said Meralco would publish the invitations to bidders.
“I think the publication will be within this week the timeline… They need the publication and they present to me the TOR anytime now. They want it done simultaneously but I am looking at the urgency of the two [Atimonan and RP Energy],” Cusi said.
Meralco’s PSAs include the 1,200-MW Atimonan coal-fired power in Quezon and the 600-MW Redondo Power Energy coal plant in Subic. Meralco’s power arm Meralco PowerGen Corp. owns a stake in the two projects.
Meralco PowerGen president Rogelio Singson said the company was ready to participate in the CSP.
Cusi said that “all affected power industry players must catch up and push under the CSP.”
He also urged Meralco to fast-track its compliance with the ruling of the Supreme Court. “For Meralco, they have to do it fast. Don’t waste time…Do it now,” Cusi said.
“For CSP, of course, the decision of the Supreme Court is very clear. We just have to follow it to the letter,” Cusi said.
Cusi said the Energy Department could move on to the extremely urgent tasks at hand, “particularly putting new power projects back on track to help augment the country’s power supply for 2020 to 2022.”
“The DoE will continue to push for the conduct of the CSP. This would ensure the transparency in the signing of power supply contracts, and more importantly, ensure that they will be at least cost for the benefit of our consumers,” Cusi said.
The energy chief expressed hope that the SC ruling would usher in a new era in power procurement, “an era of true competition, where all deserving power suppliers with efficient technologies, low rates, and fair contract terms are welcomed into the market.”